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It is a well-known fact for anyone who has heard about, or been to Cape Town that the Cape Winelands are a must-see when visiting the area. Although not part of the Cape Winelands, strictly speaking, this brief guide will include the scenic surroundings and world-class wineries of the Constantia Valley. We also explore other parts of the region such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
So, without further ado…
Steeped in history, Constantia is known to be the oldest wine producing region in South Africa with its roots dating back to 1685.
View Over the Constantia Valley Photo Credit: Constantia Glen Wine Farm
1. Constantia Glen
Located just below Constantia Nek, Constantia Glen offers a selection of wine tastings as well as cheese and charcuterie boards. For those with a sweet tooth, enjoy a decadent wine and chocolate pairing. If you think 11am is too early to hit the vines, Glen also offers a selection of delicious breakfasts. This is a popular spot so booking is recommended!
Tastings range from R45 – R90 per person | +27(0)21 795 5639
Constantia Glen Wine, Cheese and Charcuterie Board Photo Credit: Constantia Glen
2. Eagles’ Nest
Also situated on the crest of Constania Nek, Eagles Nest’s heritage can be traced back to 1863 when it was used as a refreshment station for travellers. Although predominantly known for their Shiraz, Merlot and Viognier, their Little Eagle Rosé and, more recent, Sauvignon Blanc should also make your tasting list. This particular spot is ideal if you have children! Lush grass, picnic tables and a small stream make for the ideal playground while you enjoy a tantalising tasting.
Tastings are R50 per person | +27 (0)21 794 4095
Eagles’ Nest Ground Photo Credit: Eagles’ Nest
3. Steenberg Vineyards
Admire a mix of contemporary and Cape Dutch architecture and design while enjoying fragrant fruits of the vine. Not just a vineyard, Steenberg Farm encompasses a 5-star hotel and spa as well as an award-winning restaurant, Catharina’s. For your tasting pleasure, Bistro Sixteen82 offers a range of tapas-inspired dishes and have been listed in EAT OUT’s Best Bistro list as well as Fleur du Cap’s Top 100 Places. What we’re saying is, this is not a place to missed!
Tastings vary from R40 – R150 per person. If you’re a group of 10 or more, the Executive Tasting (R160 pp) and Cheese and Wine Pairing (R180) are available. | +27 (0)21 713 2211
View of Sixteen82 and Tasting Rooms at Steenberg Vineyards Photo Credit: Michael Olivier
With nearly 200 wine producers, Stellenbosch was the first region to establish its own wine route. Explore the rich history of the town through its characterful cafés, boutiques and art galleries.
Stellenbosch South Africa Photo Credit: Jamie Goode
1. Stellenbosch Vineyards
A leading producer and exporter, this historic vineyard sports several internationally celebrated brands such as Credo, Welmoed, Infiniti and Infusions. Enjoy samples of world-class wine in the tasting room or take a seat at Swirl, a restaurant specifically designed for wine and food pairings by the venue’s chef and winemakers.
Tastings are R30 per person | +27 (0)21 881 8062
Stellenbosch Vineyards Brands Photo Credit: Stellenbosch Vineyards
Located near the top of Helshoogte Pass, Tokara offers both wonderful wines and panoramic views of the Cape Winelands valley below. Along with their Premium Wine Range, Tokara also has the Zondernaam wine range, Potstill Brandy and olive oil. Venture here with an empty stomach because the restaurant is definitely not to be missed. Run by the former EatOut SA Chef of the Year, the menu entails à la carte options as well as a seven-course chef’s menu where each dish is paired with an appropriate wine. With picturesque grounds, incredible art and intriguing sculptures, Tokara is suitable for the whole family.
Tastings are R45 per person | + 27 (0) 21 808 5900
Tokara Entrance Photo Credit: Tokara
3. Rust En Vrede
Over 320 years old, this picturesque estate is overflowing with history and accolade. Chosen by the late Nelson Mandela to be served at the Nobel Peace Prize dinner and nominated into the Top 100 Wines of the World for four consecutive years, these fruits of the vine demand to be tasted. Wine tastings here are unlike many others as there is only red! The Vertical Tasting is particularly unique as it comprises of the same wines from three consecutive years to highlight the different grapes, seasons and age. Other tastings include the Estate , the Single Vineyard and a Full Tasting of all wines. A Winemaker’s Lunch is served as an accompaniment to the wines and is served in the tasting rooms.
Tastings range between R60 and R150 | +27 (0)21 881 3881
Rust En Vrede Tasting Room Photo Credit: Rust En Vrede
Known as the gourmet capital of the country, Franschhoek combines spectacular scenery, world-class cuisine and an abundance of both boutique and larger wineries to explore. A special addition to Franschhoek that is worth experiencing is the Wine Tram.
Franschhoek Wine Valley Photo Credit: AndBeyond
1. Rupert & Rothschild
Rupert & Rothschild exudes an air of opulence aided by the custom-made French oak furniture and contemporary artwork. The tastings here are slightly different whereby each of the wines and champagnes are available in sample sizes. Aside from special fruits of the vine, there is also a delightful restaurant with views of the vineyards and Simonsberg mountain. Known to be one of the best restaurants in the area, expect a memorable fine dining experience and expert attention to detail with each seasonal menu.
Tastings range from R10 to R50 per glass | +27 (0)21 874 1648
Rupert & Rothschild Tasting Room and Restaurant Photo credit: Rupert & Rothschild
2. La Motte
Internationally recognised for their exceptional wine collection and commended for having a friendly and inviting ambiance, La Motte offers a stylish and relaxed tasting opportunity in the Cape Winelands. The winery’s ambassadors are on hand and well-equipped to guide you through your experience. La Motte offers three main tastings: the Current Vintages Tasting, Vinoteque Testing and the Food and Wine Tasting which entails five pairings. As Franschhoek is considered to be the epicentre of South Africa’s top restaurants, it should come as no surprise that La Motte has its very own Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant. You can expect dishes based on modified local recipes from over three centuries – it is essentially a decadent homage to the cultures that shaped the Cape Winelands cuisine. Booking is essential!
Tastings range from R50 to R200 for the food and wine | +27 (0)21 876 8000
Pierneef á La Motte Restaurant Photo Credit: Country Life
3. Haute Cabrière
Dating back to 1694 this farm in the Cape Winelands is brimming with rich history which can be experienced in their underground tasting room and cellar tour. Several options are available from public and private tours and tastings to portfolios and an MCC tasting featuring the Pierre Jourdan range. A unique restaurant is located inside a stone cellar with views of the maturation cellar on one side and Franschhoek on the other. Offering a Food and Wine pairing, an A La carte menu as well as a special Sunday Feast menu there is something to suit every palette.
Tastings range from R55 to R95 | +27 (0)21 875 8500
Haute Cabrière Restuarant Photo Credit: Haute Cabrière
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South African born and bred Emma says she's happy to be back on home ground after spending a few years in the UK. An avid coffee lover, equestrian enthusiast and self-proclaimed cat lady, Emma hopes to travel and experience as many cultures, countries and food types as possible. A love affair with language sees her wanting to continue writing and learn as many foreign languages as possible.
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